School board updates agreement with Brainerd Public Schools Foundation

The new memorandum of understanding outlines the partnerships between the school district and the foundation and the duties of each entity.

School board April 12.JPG
Brainerd School Board members discuss matters during meeting Monday, April 12, livestreamed through YouTube. Screenshot by Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

A new memorandum of understanding between Brainerd Public Schools and the Brainerd Public Schools Foundation highlights responsibilities within the partnerships of the two entities.

The Brainerd Public Schools Foundation was established in 1987 as a nonprofit that aims to provide opportunities for the enhanced quality of academics, arts, activities and athletics for district students.

An old memorandum of understanding has been in place for many years, Superintendent Laine Larson and School Board Chair Bob Nystrom told the rest of the board Monday, April 12, but both groups felt it was time for an update to make sure they know what is expected of each other.

“Long story short, we’ve met internally and looked at the policy and what we thought we needed to revise, and members of the foundation board did the same thing and came to the table,” Larson said. “And we took it line item by line item, and it was almost identical as to what the expectations were.”

BHS prom postponed to late May: COVID-19 quarantines on the rise in schools
Among the district’s duties outlined in the memorandum are to provide office and conference room space with telephone and internet access for the foundation, along with storage space. The district will also do its best to refer potential donors to the foundation and publicly recognize donations from the foundation at board meetings.


The foundation, under the agreement, will market district achievements and innovations to help with its message; pay for expenses related to office supplies and postage; create and operate an alumni organization; and give annual updates to the school board.

The agreement also states both entities will submit any unresolved issues resulting from the memorandum to mediation before pursuing legal action.

School board strives to add diverse voices to performing arts center naming issue
“Their board is very hard working, and they’ve done so much to promote public education within our community,” Nystrom said of the Brainerd Public Schools Foundation. “And I was really happy that we came to this agreement.”

Larson added her gratitude to foundation members Jessica Gangl, Jenny Castle and Brook Mallak for agreeing to have these conversations.

“The whole board is a great team of people that is really a pleasure to work with,” Larson said.

In other business Monday, the school board:

Approved new hires: Cheryl Karlgaard, music teacher at Lowell Elementary School; Jennifer Mongeon, special education teacher at Lowell; Brenda Alexandra, special education paraprofessional at Lincoln Education Center; Erica Ferrian, transportation special education paraprofessional at Washington Educational Services Building; Breanna Hanson, adult basic education secretary at Forestview Middle School; Waylon Larson, athletic official at Forestview; Nichole Lick, cook assistant at Nisswa Elementary School; Chris Pohlkamp, assistant hockey coach at Brainerd High School; Jason Rindahl, custodian at BHS; Michael Svir, athletic official at Forestview.


Stepping back in time: BHS students repurpose old gym bleachers into step stools
Accepted gifts and donations to the distinct: $200 from Costco for the Angel Fund school lunch program; $168 from Nisswa Parent Teacher Organization for hygiene kits at Nisswa Elementary; $225 from Lowell Parent Teacher Association for hygiene kits at Lowell Elementary; $81 from Harrison Family Teacher Association for hygiene kits at Harrison Elementary; $2,823.16 from Brainerd Sports Boosters for BHS tennis; and $377.60 from Brainerd Sports Boosters for BHS exercise bands.

Approved the purchase of an LED digital display system for the new aquatics center from Colorado Time Systems at a cost not to exceed $66,500.

Approved proposals from Digital Horizons for audio/visual public address systems at Garfield and Riverside elementary schools, at costs not to exceed $92,071.20 and $134,024, respectively. A bid from VSI Audio Systems in Mankato for the Garfield system came in about $830 cheaper, but the board agreed to award the contract to Digital Horizons, as it is a Brainerd company.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
What To Read Next
Get Local